“I have a flight at 9:00am and will not be able to appear before you,” Maryam told returning officers on Wednesday regarding appearing for scrutiny of her nomination papers for NA-127 (Lahore).
To this, the returning officers told the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader that her counsel should appear tomorrow in place of her.
Sources told that the PML-N leader will fly to London along with her father tomorrow and tickets have been purchased for their trip.
On Sunday, Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar remarked that the former premier along with his daughter, Maryam, could visit his ailing wife Begum Kulsoom Nawaz in London. Justice Nisar had also directed an accountability court to announce its verdict on all three corruption references against Nawaz and his family within a month.
Maryam was scrutinised by returning officers today over her nomination papers for the upcoming general election for PS-173 in Lahore’s civil court.
During the scrutiny, the returning officers asked Maryam certain questions to which her counsel expressed reservations.
Responding to a question, the PML-N leader said, “Will decide whether to sit in the provincial or National Assembly when the time comes.”
Maryam was also questioned how she would tackle the issue of water scarcity if elected. To this, the former premier’s daughter, “The conservation of water is crucial and we should build dams.”
The PML-N leader was also asked about her point of view regarding Pakistan’s foreign policy with India and Afghanistan. Although, Maryam’s counsel expressed reservation and said the country’s foreign policy has nothing to do with the provincial assembly, the PML-N answered saying, “The parliament and appointed leaders have the authority to draft foreign policy. As a citizen of Pakistan, I believe that we shouldn’t have strained relations with our neighbouring countries.”
Responding to a question regarding her strategy against terrorists if elected, Maryam said, “All political parties, Parliament and the entire nation is united against terrorists. Two operations, Zarb-e-Azb and Radd-ul-Fasaad, were conducted against terrorists.”
“There are no good or bad terrorists now,” she added while stating that earlier the nation was divided on this.
Before Maryam’s appearance, strict security measures were taken and sniffer dogs were made to search the court room which led to a protest by other candidates who demanded that returning officer Asif Bashir should take notice of the issue.